Regional Spotlight: San Francisco

2014 Annual Meeting Logo

ASA will host the 109th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California, August 16-19, 2014.  The Hilton San Francisco Union Square and Parc55 Wyndham Hotel will serve as the headquarter properties for the meeting. We encourage attendees to arrive earlier or stay later and enjoy San Francisco! 

The City and County of San Francisco is the fourth most populous city in California and the 13th most populous city in the United States.  Many things have changed since ASA last met there in 2009, but the hustle and bustle of this world-renowned destination continue to attract visitors from all parts of the world.  The site of this year's Annual Meeting affords attendees wonderful opportunities to see famous sights, explore culture and arts from high to low, and debate the varied political and social issues bubbling in this premier west-coast city.

This year’s program features an exciting roster of local arrangements representing the work of members from the San Francisco and greater Bay-area. The local arrangements committee, chaired by Sheila Katz (Sonoma State University), has developed a timely, stimulating, and vibrant roster of regional spotlight sessions, tours, and articles for Footnotes.

Regional Spotlight Offerings

View the current roster of Regional Spotlight Sessions and Tours for details on the fascinating topics covered this year. View Program Committee-sponsored Invited Sessions (which includes Regional Spotlight Sessions).

Regional Spotlight Sessions

  • Immigration and Technology in the Bay Area
  • Social Justice Youth-Style: Bay Area Youth Activists' Perspectives on Race, Education, and Coalition Politics
  • The Challenges of Public Sociology in Contested Areas: The Case of Abortion
  • Four Decades of Disability and Independent Living Activism in the San Francisco Bay Area
  • Teaching about Race in a "Diverse" Place
  • The Phoenix Rises Again But for Whom? Understanding Super-Gentrification in San Francisco

Regional Spotlight Tours  (coming soon!)

After a day of sessions and meetings, it is time to explore San Francisco. The famous Golden Gate Bridge and the historic Cable Cars are just two of the many sites the city has to offer. Here are just a few attractions not to be missed while in San Francisco:

  • Alcatraz, the notorious former prison, is located on an island of the same name in the middle of San Francisco Bay. Some of the United States’ most notorious criminals were incarcerated there. Though several tried, no inmate ever made a successful escape from “The Rock.” The prison was closed in the 1960’s and stories about Alcatraz are legendary.  A visit to Alcatraz today is fascinating. Recorded cell-house tours are available, allowing visitors to learn about the prison as they explore the buildings and grounds. To reach the island, take an Alcatraz Cruises ferry from Pier 43. Advance reservations are recommended, 415-981-ROCK (7625).
  • Fisherman’s Wharf is also home to Pier 39, a festive waterfront marketplace that is one of the city’s most popular attractions. A community of California sea lions has taken up residence on the floats to the west of the pier and visitors line the nearby railing to watch their antics. From there it’s a short walk to the Wax Museum, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and the famous crab vendors selling walk-away crab and shrimp cocktails.
  • Union Square is the place for serious shoppers. Major department stores and the most exclusive designer boutiques line the streets of Post, Sutter, Geary, Grant, Stockton and Powell. The Westfield San Francisco Shopping Centre houses the largest Bloomingdale's outside of New York and the second largest Nordstrom in the U.S.
  • North Beach, the city’s Italian quarter, isn’t a beach at all.  It’s a neighborhood of romantic European-style sidewalk cafes, restaurants and shops centered near Washington Square along Columbus and Grant avenues.  The beautiful Church of Saints Peter and Paul is a beloved landmark. Coit Tower atop Telegraph Hill offers a splendid vantage point for photos of the bridges and the Bay. Inside the tower, floor-to-ceiling murals painted in the 1930s depict scenes of early San Francisco. (
  • The entrance to Chinatown at Grant Avenue and Bush Street is called the "Dragon's Gate." Inside are 24 blocks of hustle and bustle, most of it taking place along Grant Avenue, the oldest street in San Francisco. This city within a city is best explored on foot; exotic shops, renowned restaurants, food markets, temples and small museums comprise its boundaries. Visitors can buy ancient potions from herb shops, relax and enjoy a "dim sum" lunch or witness the making of fortune cookies.

The surrounding the areas of San Francisco also provide a wealth of activities. If you arrive in the city before the meeting or extend your stay after, consider a visit to Sonoma County or the Napa Valley. 

Sonoma County is located north of San Francisco about a 45 minute drive. It offers visitors more than 50 miles view of the Pacific Coast, ancient redwood forest, oak-covered mountains, and quiet rivers. The county is probably most known as a premium winery designation and is home to the Francis Ford Coppola wine resort.  There are also farm-to-table dinning, rustic areas for outdoor camping, and excursions such as riding in a hot air balloon. For more information visit, (

Napa Valley is considered one of the premier US destinations, with its breathtaking views at every turn, picturesque rolling hills, and vineyards. The county offers its visitors luxury and chic inns and bed & breakfasts. Along with the many vineyards, Napa Valley offers RV parks for camping, farmer’s markets, golfing and bike tours. Visitors can view a cooking demonstration at one of the many culinary institutes or relax and watch nature in one of the many parks.  To learn more about Napa Valley visit, ( .


If you have questions about the Annual Meeting program or the Annual Meeting in general, please email ASA Meeting Services or call (202) 383-9005 ext. 305, Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.